We often announce performances by the Ingiliz Yarenler or report their shows after the event. However, it occurred to us that some readers may not actually know what the group is all about – so here’s the full story so far.
It all began way back in late 2006 when British residents of Ovacık began taking Turkish lessons at the Sanat Evi. It was suggested that they might like to learn some Turkish folk songs as part of their tuition, singing led to folk dancing and the rest, as they say, is history.
In full costume they now perform Turkish folk songs, and a few dances, at venues all over the country.
Since the initial formation of the group there have been several changes in the line up, which now comprises five British residents: Jen, David, Shirley, Stuart and Margaret (from the left in photo). All except Margaret are founder members.
Their average age is 65 and they have lived in Turkey for varying lengths of time: David and Stuart for eight years; Shirley for seven; Jen for five and Margaret just two.
They are now well known throughout Turkey and often recognised, thanks to regular appearances on television, including one on Friday night’s ‘Beyaz Show’ which is Turkey’s equivalent of the American Saturday Night Live, and hugely popular.
Geographically, they have performed all around the country from Sarıkamış in the far north east, to Anamur on the Mediterranean coast and in Istanbul, Izmir and numerous places in central Turkey. They have even appeared on the same bill as the Turkish pop star Tarkan at a festival last year!
Future plans include performances at a tourism fair in Istanbul and appearances in this locality in the summer at the annual Ölüdeniz Arts Festival, and the Grease Wrestling held in Kadiköy near the Saklıkent Gorge.
There will no doubt be lots of other appearances but, as is normal in Turkey, they often only know about a performance a mere day or so before it is to take place. Hence we are often reduced to reporting the event rather than letting you all know in advance.
When we are able to let you know about a local performance, do try to go along and support this group who work very hard learning the songs and dances, and have built a solid bridge between the Turkish and British communities.
And on that note, you have a chance to see them in action on TV later this week.
On Thursday 10 February at 14.00 on TV8 with Özlem Yıldız.
Then on Sunday 13 February at 11.00 on Kanal 24 with Hakan Çelik.